So I've had something up my sleeve for a while now (3 months or 1.5 years, depending on how you look at it), but Husband and I are moving on up - the East Coast that is. We've been throwing around the idea for quite a while (that's the 1.5 years part) of moving to Philadelphia, for many little reasons, one of which is that we can actually afford to buy a house there, as opposed to DC, which is just ridiculous. Anyway, our journey started last fall when we decided to go to an open house for what was basically a castle, which we could actually afford. Anyway, that one didn't work out, but it did start us on some serious internet searching, and we started the official business of looking at houses with a Realtor in September. We put an offer in on a house after our first day of looking, but that one didn't work out, which overall, was probably for the best. I think we looked at about 30 houses in total, several that we didn't even go into (husband kept having to talk me down from lofty restoration projects), but nothing was quite what we were looking for. After narrowing our search down, we finally settled on a neighborhood we really liked (Mount Airy), and over the holidays, we had an offer accepted on a house! It meets every single thing on our wishlist, with the one exception that it is semi-detached. Due to our current rowhouse situation, we are not found of being involved in every aspect of our neighbors' lives, but this house has about an 18" thick stone wall in-between, so I think it will be better than our current 50's cardboard walls.
walkable to shops, restaurants, etc - a little farther from the main drag than I would like, but easily walkable
short commute for Laura - check
single family home - nope
1500 - 2000ish sq. ft - check (just over 2000 sq. ft)
3-4 bedrooms - check (4)
1.5 - 2 bathrooms - actually has 3.5 bathrooms
yard for our soon to be dog - check
garage - check
basement for Husband's workshop - check
improvable (not completely redone, but not a gut job) - check - see note on character
character - it's there, but we have to remove a bit of seventies character first
Right now we are dealing with the appraisal and inspection, but assuming that all goes well, we will be moving the end of March/beginning of April. Without further ado, I give you the house:
It is the one on the left, and we will also be buying the lot next door (which is basically from the driveway to the rear wheel well of the silver car parked on the street). It's a bit more colonial than is my style (I'm not going to lie, I'm a sucker for Victorians), but it is very classic Philadelphia, and I think we will be very happy here. Overall it's in very good shape, as the current owners have lived here for 38 years, and taken very good care of it. There are definitely some cosmetic things that we will be fixing fairly quickly, as well as some projects to space out over time. A lot of the timing depends on how quickly we can plan it all out and whether or not Husband has to travel a lot for work.
Rip up carpet everywhere (supposedly there are hardwood floors under it all) - before we move in
Give kitchen a temporary face-lift (take out horrible bulkhead, paint cupboards) - before we move in
Refinish floors if needed - before we move in
Replace solid front door with one that is mostly glass - soon as possible
Do something about the sparkly gold ceiling in dining room - soon as possible
Wall o'closets in the master bedroom - soon as possible
Built-ins around the living room fireplace - 1 month?
Create my sewing studio in the attic room - 1 month?
Expand master bathroom into existing closet - 3 months?
Landscaping/fence - 4 months
Replace stair railing spindles - sometime
Paint everything - over time
Get furniture - over time
And the granddaddy of them all, completely gut kitchen/breakfast room, and add a half-bath on the first floor (which, despite having 3.5 baths, there are none on the first floor) - 6 months to 1 year